As 2011 winds down, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look back on what went right, what went wrong, and what I want to change in the future. To prepare for this, I went over 2010’s Year in Review (which you can read here, here, and here).
What Went Right
Cutting back on out-of-state shows was definitely a good idea. After all of the heartbreak and drama (and not to mention expenses) from going to shows like SPX, I needed a break. That said, I am planning on hitting the convention scene as hard as possible in 2012. I will have a new book out, meaning much more potential revenue which will help offset the costs of travel Also, I am much smarter about travel than I was in 2010, and I am looking forward to doing things right this time.
I also made some crucial changes in infrastructure for 2011. Specifically, I purchased the full version of Adobe Creative Suite Standard. I’’ll admit, I probably should have saved money by buying an older version (or pirating the software), but man, do I love having Photoshop and InDesign. They have cut back so much of the pain in making books, mini-comics, and webcomics. I still use GIMP for a few things, but having the automated features of photoshop and InDesign have made life so much sweeter.
2011 was also the first full year of having Introspective Comics as a business, and it feels so great to have a complete, organized record of my income and expenses. At least, I’m a lot more organized than last year. Seriously, even if you’re not planning on making a profit, tracking your income and expenses like a business has value. It helps you plan for the future and avoid spending a lot of money on things that aren’t very important.
On a personal level, I am also in a relationship this year, which has been great. I kind of needed someone in my life. Rebecca has helped me confront a lot of the emotional issues I have been struggling with this year, and I’ve matured a lot as a result.
What Went Wrong
I wasn’t nearly as productive this year as I have been in the past. I wanted to complete three issues of Super Plumbers. I only finished one. I wanted to start a line of eBooks. I finished one. I don’t think of these events as failures, though. During the course of the year, my priorities have changed. The Super Plumber books aren’t as important to me anymore (although I have given up on the idea of finishing them yet), and eBooks aren’t the shiny beacon of hope they once were to me. I’ve also lost interest in putting together a newsletter.
I also didn’t expand my product line as much as I would have liked. I tried a few things, like prints and clay figures, at conventions, but nothing sells as well as my mini-comics and books. I also didn’t finish any of my poster ideas.
I don’t consider these unmet goals to be failures. They were the result of shifting priorities. I’ve accepted that there is only so much before I burn out. I’ve also learned that some ideas work better on paper than they do in practice. They were all mistakes that I have learned from.
Which brings me to…
Things I Want to Change
As one of my recent updates illustrated, I’ve been having some serious issues with burnout. Part of it involves juggling my new relationship, my comics, my full-time job, and my overall health. My main goal for next year is to find a better balance. If nothing else, I want to accept the fact that I’m not going to be perfect at everything so I can plan my life accordingly.
My other goals include:
- Finishing the next Introspective Comics collection.
- Finishing a comic for Lutefisk Sushi.
- Finishing at least 104 pages of comics for the website.
- Tabling at three out-of-state comic conventions.
- Tabling at as many local conventions as possible.
I am really looking forward to growing this year. I wish you all a Happy 2012!